What You Can and Can’t Eat With Braces

If you have braces, you already know they require extra care and attention to ensure they stay in good condition and that your teeth remain healthy. One aspect of this care is what you can and cannot eat while wearing braces. Here at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics, we understand that braces can be restricting. We have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you plan your braces-friendly meals. Dr. Bowman has your best interests at heart. You can rely on him to guide you through your teeth straightening journey. 

Your Complete Guide to What to Eat and What Not to Eat With Braces

The truth is that braces can limit what you can eat, and it is important to be mindful of the types of food that can damage the braces or the wires that hold them in place. While it may seem daunting at first, following the right diet can help keep your braces in good condition, reduce the likelihood of breakages, and ultimately shorten the time you need to wear braces.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods are the primary culprits when it comes to damaging braces. These types of foods can cause the brackets or wires to become dislodged, causing discomfort or even damage to the teeth. Here is a list of some common foods to avoid while wearing braces:

Hard and Crunchy Foods

  • Hard candies
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Ice

Sticky Foods

  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Chewy candies
  • Fruit snacks

Foods to Enjoy With Braces

While some foods are off-limits, there are still plenty of foods that you can enjoy while wearing braces. Soft foods are your best friend when it comes to braces, as they are less likely to cause damage or discomfort. Here is a list of some foods that you can eat with braces:

Soft Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Melons

Soft Vegetables

  • Cooked carrots
  • Cooked broccoli
  • Cooked green beans
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Steamed spinach

Soft Grains

  • Cooked pasta
  • Cooked rice
  • Soft tortillas
  • Pancakes
  • Muffins

Dairy Products

  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheese
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Puddings

Soft Meats

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Meatballs
  • Deli meat
  • Ground beef

General Tips for Eating With Braces

In addition to knowing which foods to avoid and which foods to eat, there are some general tips that you can follow to make eating with braces a little easier and safer.

Cut Your Food Into Smaller Pieces 

When you cut your food into smaller pieces, you reduce the force you put on your braces. This can help to prevent damage and discomfort while eating.

Chew With Your Back Teeth

Chewing with your back teeth can help to reduce the pressure you put on your braces, as these teeth are further away from the brackets and wires.

Avoid Biting Into Foods When You Can Cut Them Instead

Biting into foods can be risky when you have braces, as it puts a lot of force on your brackets and wires. Instead, try to cut your food into smaller pieces and chew with your back teeth. For example, it is better to cut an apple into slices than to eat it whole.

Brush and Floss Regularly 

Keeping your braces clean is crucial when it comes to maintaining good oral health. Brush and floss regularly to remove food particles and plaque that can get trapped in your braces.

Attend Regular Orthodontic Appointments

Regular appointments with Dr. Bowman can help to ensure that your braces are in good condition and that your teeth are moving according to plan. Your orthodontist can also offer advice on how to care for your braces and answer any questions that you may have.

How Different Types of Braces Affect Your Teeth

Orthodontic braces can affect the way you eat, depending on the type of braces you have. Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners all have unique benefits and drawbacks when it comes to eating.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type of braces, and they can have a significant impact on your eating habits. With metal braces, it’s essential to avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage the brackets and wires. 

Foods like popcorn, hard candies, and nuts should be avoided, as they can dislodge or break the braces. Additionally, foods that require biting into, such as apples and corn on the cob, should be cut into small pieces to prevent damage to the braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces but are less noticeable due to the use of tooth-colored or clear brackets. However, they still require the same dietary restrictions as metal braces. It’s important to avoid hard and sticky foods and to cut foods into smaller pieces before eating.

Invisalign Aligners 

Clear aligners such as Invisalign offer more dietary flexibility than traditional braces. These aligners are removable, allowing you to eat whatever you want without worrying about damaging the braces. However, it’s essential to remove the aligners before eating and to brush your teeth before putting them back in to prevent staining or bacterial buildup.

Live Comfortably With Your Braces

While it may seem challenging at first, eating with braces is not impossible. By avoiding hard, crunchy, and sticky foods and opting for softer foods, you can protect your braces and keep them in good condition. After a couple of years, your crowded teeth will be repositioned, so this discomfort is temporary. Here at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics, we will help you get the most out of your orthodontic braces. You can come to us with your queries about living with braces. 

For more information on braces and aligners, contact us online or call us at (850) 659-7599 to schedule an appointment.